NASA is studying the possibility of sending a manned mission into the atmosphere of Venus with hopes of one day creating a world humans could live in floating above the volcano filled planet, according to the Daily Mail.
The program is known as High Altitude Venus Operational Concept, or HAVOC, and is being pursued by engineers and scientists at the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, the Daily Mail reported.
Venus has a very hot surface with more volcanoes than any other planet in the solar system, according to UniverseToday.com. It has a mean temperature of 462 degrees Celsius, or 863 degrees Fahrenheit, and an atmospheric pressure 92 times greater than Earth's and a cloud layer of sulphuric acid.
This means Venus' surface can is hot enough to melt lead and the atmospheric pressure is equivalent to diving a mile underwater, UniverseToday reported.
Previous probes sent to Venus' surface have only lasted about two hours, according to PopularScience.com.
The only livable part of Venus is located 30 miles above the planet's surface, PopularScience reported. The gravity at this altitude is only slightly lower than that of Earth, its atmospheric pressure is similar and the aerospace provides enough protection from solar radiation, which would otherwise destruct any type of vessel entering its atmosphere.
The project's most difficult feat is how to send the airship into Venus' atmosphere without allowing it to land on the planet's dangerous surface.
NASA's plan to overcome this includes sending astronauts, at first, in an aeroshell which will enter Venus' atmosphere at about 4,500 miles per hour, the Daily Mail reported. Then the aeroshell's speed needs to decreased to 450 meters per second with the help of a parachute to avoid making contact with the planet's surface.
The aeroshell would then be removed to reveal a "folded airship" that would be filled with helium in order to float 30 miles about Venus' hot surface, according to the Daily Mail.
"The atmosphere of Venus is an exciting destination for both further scientific study and future human exploration," said aerospace engineer Christopher A. Jones of the Space Mission Analysis Branch, the Daily Mail reported.
"One concept is a lighter-than-air vehicle that could carry either a host of instruments and probes, or a habitat and ascent vehicle for a crew of two astronauts to explore Venus for up to a month," Jones added.
Earth is located between Venus and Mars, but Venus is only 25 million miles from Earth, opposed to Mars which is 33.9 million miles away, according to the Daily Mail. Jones said the study showed the mission would require less time to complete than crewed missions to other planets and could even be a practice run for a Mars mission.